E.g., 01/21/2020
E.g., 01/21/2020

State Language Data - CA

California

Language & Education
2017
2000
1990
English Proficiency

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English.

Note: The term "foreign born" refers to people residing in the United States at the time of the population survey who were not U.S. citizens at birth. The foreign-born population includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent immigrants (or green-card holders), refugees and asylees, certain legal nonimmigrants (including those on student, work, or some other temporary visas), and persons residing in the country without authorization.

Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 10,599,050
Speak only English 10.9%
Speak English "very well" 35.5%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 53.6%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2017 11.9%
% change: 1990-2000 42.0%
English Proficiency of the Foreign Born by U.S. Citizenship Status (age 5 and older)*

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English. Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 ACS.

 
Naturalized citizens 5,490,968
Speak only English 13.8%
Speak English "very well" 41.8%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 44.4%
Noncitizens 5,108,082
Speak only English 7.9%
Speak English "very well" 28.7%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 63.4%

Note: The term "U.S. born" refers to people residing in the United States who were U.S. citizens in one of three categories: people born in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia; people born in U.S. Insular Areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam; or people who were born abroad to at least one U.S. citizen parent.

U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 26,477,178
Speak only English 73.4%
Speak English ""very well"" 23.0%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3.6%
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Population: Change over Time  
% change: 2000-2011 -21.7%
% change: 1990-2000 44.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 8,762,060
Speak only English 10.9%
"Speak English ""very well"" 31.1%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 57.9%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 22,654,569
Speak only English 79.7%
"Speak English ""very well"" 15.0%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 6,337,062
Speak only English 12.4%
"Speak English ""very well"" 31.2%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 56.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
English Proficiency (age 5 and older) (%) 21,014,236
Speak only English 85.5%
"Speak English ""very well"" 10.6%
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4.0%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
Population (age 5 and older)
 
 
Language Spoken at Home (by age and English proficiency)

Note: The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English.

Number
Ages 5-17 6,596,961
Speak only English 3,690,770
Speak language other than English 2,906,191
Speak English "very well"
2,394,272
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
511,919
Speak Spanish 2,266,229
Speak English "very well"
1,881,055
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
385,174
Ages 18-64 24,974,450
Speak only English 13,364,683
Speak language other than English 11,609,767
Speak English "very well"
6,784,365
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
4,825,402
Speak Spanish 7,517,602
Speak English "very well"
4,269,253
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
3,248,349
65 and Older 5,504,817
Speak only English 3,541,121
Speak language other than English 1,963,696
Speak English "very well"
680,799
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
1,282,897
Speak Spanish 914,306
Speak English "very well"
306,539
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP)
607,767
%
65 and Older 100%
Speak only English 55.9%
Speak language other than English 44.1%
Speak English "very well" 36.3%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 7.8%
Speak Spanish 34.4%
Speak English "very well" 28.5%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 5.8%
Ages 18-64 100%
Speak only English 53.5%
Speak language other than English 46.5%
Speak English "very well" 27.2%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 19.3%
Speak Spanish 30.1%
Speak English "very well" 17.1%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 13.0%
Ages 5-17 100%
Speak only English 64.3%
Speak language other than English 35.7%
Speak English "very well" 12.4%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 23.3%
Speak Spanish 16.6%
Speak English "very well" 5.6%
Speak English less than "very well" (LEP) 11.0%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
Population (age 5 and older)
 
 
Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)

Note: 1) The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English "not at all," "not well," or "well" on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English "very well" are considered proficient in English. 2) Data for Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 ACS.

Number
Total Household Population, Age 5 and Older 37,076,228
Speak only English 20,596,574
Speak language other than English 16,479,654
Spanish 10,698,137
Speak English "very well" 6,456,847
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,241,290
French (Including Cajun) 132,930
Speak English "very well" 113,417
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 19,513
Haitian 9,234
Speak English "very well" 8,012
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 1,222
Italian 56,130
Speak English "very well" 44,485
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 11,645
Portuguese 82,951
Speak English "very well" 58,308
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 24,643
German 93,926
Speak English "very well" 84,846
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 9,080
Yiddish, Pennsylvania Dutch or Other West Germanic Languages 25,620
Speak English "very well" 22,767
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 2,853
Russian 172,734
Speak English "very well" 103,033
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 69,701
Polish 20,395
Speak English "very well" 15,914
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,481
Other Slavic Languages 57,245
Speak English "very well" 40,270
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,975
Armenian 202,137
Speak English "very well" 109,251
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 92,886
Persian (including Farsi, Dari) 211,538
Speak English "very well" 122,750
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 88,788
Gujarati 49,876
Speak English "very well" 36,506
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 13,370
Hindi 212,005
Speak English "very well" 172,383
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 39,622
Urdu 55,003
Speak English "very well" 42,111
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 12,892
Punjabi 141,772
Speak English "very well" 82,141
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 59,631
Bengali 26,236
Speak English "very well" 20,237
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 5,999
Nepali, Marathi, or Other Indic Languages 64,973
Speak English "very well" 48,140
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 16,833
Other Indo-European Languages 87,209
Speak English "very well" 68,020
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 19,189
Telugu 62,942
Speak English "very well" 52,772
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 10,170
Tamil 59,861
Speak English "very well" 51,233
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 8,628
Malayalam, Kannada, or Other Dravidian Languages 33,910
Speak English "very well" 29,510
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,400
Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese) 1,259,335
Speak English "very well" 557,591
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 701,744
Japanese 147,470
Speak English "very well" 87,325
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 60,145
Korean 364,101
Speak English "very well" 162,894
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 201,207
Hmong 75,973
Speak English "very well" 45,178
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 30,795
Vietnamese 556,946
Speak English "very well" 225,698
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 331,248
Khmer 75,098
Speak English "very well" 34,466
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 40,632
Thai, Lao, or Other Tai-Kadai Languages 81,437
Speak English "very well" 40,828
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 40,609
Other Languages of Asia 63,359
Speak English "very well" 36,273
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 27,086
Tagalog (including Filipino) 804,825
Speak English "very well" 547,989
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 256,836
Ilocano, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Other Austronesian Languages 119,845
Speak English "very well" 82,427
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 37,418
Arabic 188,596
Speak English "very well" 124,170
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 64,426
Hebrew 45,894
Speak English "very well" 39,869
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 6,025
Amharic, Somali, or Other Afro-Asiatic Languages 59,852
Speak English "very well" 36,112
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 23,740
Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, or Other Languages of Western Africa 22,860
Speak English "very well" 18,007
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 4,853
Swahili or Other Languages of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa 17,915
Speak English "very well" 14,102
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 3,813
Native Languages of North America 5,650
Speak English "very well" 4,652
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 998
Other and Unspecified Languages 33,734
Speak English "very well" 18,902
Speak English less than “very well” (LEP) 14,832
%
Field 306 100%
Field 307 55.6%
Field 308 44.4%
Field 310 100%
Field 310 60.4%
Field 310 39.6%
Field 313 100%
Field 314 85.3%
Field 315 14.7%
Field 316 100%
Field 316 86.8%
Field 316 13.2%
Field 319 100%
Field 319 79.3%
Field 319 20.7%
Field 322 100%
Field 322 70.3%
Field 322 29.7%
Field 325 100%
Field 325 90.3%
Field 325 9.7%
Field 328 100%
Field 328 88.9%
Field 328 11.1%
Field 331 100%
Field 331 59.6%
Field 331 40.4%
Field 334 100%
Field 334 78.0%
Field 334 22.0%
Field 337 100%
Field 337 70.3%
Field 337 29.7%
Field 340 100%
Field 340 54.0%
Field 340 46.0%
Field 343 100%
Field 343 58.0%
Field 343 42.0%
Field 346 100%
Field 346 73.2%
Field 346 26.8%
Field 349 100%
Field 349 81.3%
Field 349 18.7%
Field 352 100%
Field 352 76.6%
Field 352 23.4%
Field 355 100%
Field 355 57.9%
Field 355 42.1%
Field 358 100%
Field 358 77.1%
Field 358 22.9%
Field 361 100%
Field 361 74.1%
Field 361 25.9%
Field 364 100%
Field 364 78.0%
Field 364 22.0%
Field 367 100%
Field 367 83.8%
Field 367 16.2%
Field 370 100%
Field 370 85.6%
Field 370 14.4%
Field 373 100%
Field 373 87.0%
Field 373 13.0%
Field 376 100%
Field 376 44.3%
Field 376 55.7%
Field 379 100%
Field 379 59.2%
Field 379 40.8%
Field 382 100%
Field 382 44.7%
Field 382 55.3%
Field 385 100%
Field 385 59.5%
Field 385 40.5%
Field 388 100%
Field 388 40.5%
Field 388 59.5%
Field 391 100%
Field 391 45.9%
Field 391 54.1%
Field 394 100%
Field 394 50.1%
Field 394 49.9%
Field 397 100%
Field 397 57.2%
Field 397 42.8%
Field 400 100%
Field 400 68.1%
Field 400 31.9%
Field 403 100%
Field 403 68.8%
Field 403 31.2%
Field 406 100%
Field 406 65.8%
Field 406 34.2%
Field 409 100%
Field 409 86.9%
Field 409 13.1%
Field 412 100%
Field 412 60.3%
Field 412 39.7%
Field 415 100%
Field 415 78.8%
Field 415 21.2%
Field 418 100%
Field 418 78.7%
Field 418 21.3%
Field 421 100%
Field 421 82.3%
Field 421 17.7%
Field 424 100%
Field 424 56.0%
Field 424 44.0%
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Educational Attainment Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 9,694,131
Less than high school diploma 32.6%
High school diploma or GED 19.8%
Some college or associate's degree 18.6%
Bachelor's degree 17.7%
Graduate or professional degree 11.3%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 71.0%
Bachelor's degree or higher 31.3%
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2017 2.4%
% change: 1990-2000 44.3%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2017 86.8%
% change: 1990-2000 76.6%
Educational Attainment by U.S. Citizenship Status (foreign-born adults, age 25 and older)

Note: 1) Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 ACS. 2) The letter N Indicates that a number could not be provided by the Census Bureau because the number of sample cases was too small for this state.

 
Naturalized citizens (%) 5,249,823
Less than high school diploma 23.3%
High school diploma or GED 19%
Some college or associate's degree 22.9%
Bachelor's degree 21.7%
Graduate or professional degree 13.1%
Noncitizens (%) 4,444,308
Less than high school diploma 43.6%
High school diploma or GED 20.8%
Some college or associate's degree 13.6%
Bachelor's degree 13%
Graduate or professional degree 9.1%
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 16,985,142
Less than high school diploma 7.6%
High school diploma or GED 21.3%
Some college or associate's degree 34.8%
Bachelor's degree 23.0%
Graduate or professional degree 13.3%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Nothing  
Nothing  
Educational Attainment: Change over Time  
Adults with no high school diploma  
% change: 2000-2011 -30.5%
% change: 1990-2000 -19.6%
Adults with a bachelor's degree or higher  
% change: 2000-2011 47.6%
% change: 1990-2000 19.1%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 7,001,114
Less than high school diploma 44.1%
High school diploma or GED 15.9%
Some college or associate's degree 18.6%
Bachelor's degree 13.6%
Graduate or professional degree 7.9%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 62.4%
Bachelor's degree or higher 26.4%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 14,310,486
Less than high school diploma 13.0%
High school diploma or GED 22.2%
Some college or associate's degree 35.6%
Bachelor's degree 18.9%
Graduate or professional degree 10.3%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Foreign Born
Population (age 25 and older) 4,635,457
Less than high school diploma 46.1%
High school diploma or GED 16.1%
Some college or associate's degree 19.5%
Bachelor's degree 11.7%
Graduate or professional degree 6.7%
% Foreign Born among Adults with  
Less than high school diploma 48.1%
Bachelor's degree or higher 19.5%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
U.S. Born
Population (age 25 and older) 14,044,712
Less than high school diploma 16.4%
High school diploma or GED 24.4%
Some college or associate's degree 34.2%
Bachelor's degree 16.4%
Graduate or professional degree 8.6%
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Sources: Migration Policy Institute tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census. Unless stated otherwise, 2017 data are from the one-year ACS file. For information about ACS definitions, methodology, sampling error, and nonsampling error, click here. Estimates from 1990 and 2000 Decennial Census data as well as ACS microdata are from Steven Ruggles, Sarah Flood, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, Erin Meyer, Jose Pacas, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) USA: Version 8.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2018. https://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V8.0.

Definitions

  • The term "foreign born" refers to people residing in the United States at the time of the population survey who were not U.S. citizens at birth. The foreign-born population includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent immigrants (or green-card holders), refugees and asylees, certain legal nonimmigrants (including those on student, work, or some other temporary visas), and persons residing in the country without authorization.
  • The term "U.S. born" refers to people residing in the United States who were U.S. citizens in one of three categories: people born in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia; people born in U.S. Insular Areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam; or people who were born abroad to at least one U.S. citizen parent.
  • The term limited English proficient (LEP) refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English “not at all,” “not well,” or “well” on their survey questionnaire. Persons who speak only English or who report speaking English “very well” are considered proficient in English.

Data-related notes

  • The letter N indicates that an estimate could not be provided by the Census Bureau because the number of sample cases was too small for this state.
  • For “English proficiency of the foreign born by U.S. citizenship status” and “Educational Attainment by U.S. Citizenship Status”: Data for Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the Census Bureau's pooled 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 ACS. 
  • For “Language Spoken at Home (detailed, by English proficiency)”: Data for Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are from the U.S. Census Bureau's pooled 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS). Data for the United States overall and for the remaining states are from the 2017 ACS.